Today is the 53rd death anniversary of legendary journalist Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah. He was the founding editor of the daily Ittefaq, fearless journalist, the founder of modern newspapers and one of the proponents of the Bengali nationalist movement.
Manik Mia, in his columns "Rajnaitik Mancha", "Rajnaitik Dhonkabaji" and "Ranga Mancha" inexorably exposed the corruption in the country and how the denial of adult franchise was dragging the country to disintegration.
Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia and his Ittefaq were literally engaged in a relentless pen-war to form public opinion for the establishment of democracy and the realisation of the equal rights of the people of this land. His scathing writings, under the pseudonym ‘Mosafir’, Manik Miah portrayed thoughts of the masses in simple language and acted as a catalyst in connecting the masses with the political leadership of like Maulana Bhasani, Sher-e-Bangla, Suhrawardy and Bangabandhu and the mass struggle. For this, Manik Mia had been repeatedly imprisoned like a political leader.
On this day in 1969, at the age of 56, the short-lived journalist breathed his last in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
He and his published newspaper 'Dainik Ittefaq' became the source of inspiration for the life struggle, existence-dignity and hope-aspiration of the bereaved Bengali nation. Ittefaq has always believed that the main goal of journalism is to speak for the people, to play a role in establishing human rights.
Manik Miah was the bearer of liberal democracy. He is a pioneer in the world of Bengali journalism as well as in politics. Though, he had no political ambitions, no personal greed. That is why he could show courage to speak the truth from an honest and neutral position. Manik Miah was close to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Faced with prison-torture, oppression, and non-cooperation from the government, he has had to speak out for human rights from the standpoint of policy.
Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah died in Rawalpindi on 1 June 1969.
'... the depth of Manik Bhai's influence in my personal life is indescribable. I have known him since 1943. Throughout our lives since that introduction, we two brothers have been fighting for the rights of the people together .... One thing we both agreed on was the independence of Bengal. Apart from independence, there is no freedom for Bengalis, there was no room for dilemma among us. And since there was no one, we have worked from two fronts in the midst of various blows and blows. I have worked in the field and Manik Bhai with the help of his sharp writing, ' wrote Bangabandhu in an article titled 'My Manik Bhai'.
In a recent article, the late Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury said, "Ittefaq and Manik Mia's single contribution to the golden harvest of freedom that we are reaping today is remarkable.
Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah was born in 1911 in Bhandaria of Pirojpur district. His father's name is Muslim Uddin Mia. Manik Mia's mother died in infancy. Manik Miah started his education at East Bhandaria Model Primary School in the village. He passed Matriculation with distinction from Pirojpur District Government High School. In 1935, Manik Mia obtained BA degree from Barisal BM College with distinction. After completing his studies, he started working in Pirojpur District Civil Court. While working in Pirojpur District Civil Court, he got married in 1937 to Majeda Begum, daughter of Khandaker Abul Hasan of Goaldi village under Bhanga police station of Faridpur district.
On the occasion of the death anniversary of Manik Miah, Daily Ittefaq has organized Qur'an recitation at Azimpur graveyard from 8 am on Wednesday and munajat at 10 am. A Qur'an recitation and prayer mahfil has been organized on behalf of his younger son Anwar Hossain Manju.
Jatiya Party-JP General Secretary and former Education Minister Sheikh Shahidul Islam has issued a statement on the occasion of the death anniversary of Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia. According to him, "he is dreamer of independent Bangladesh who carried his powerful pen till his death. He is a lifelong uncompromising fighter, was a shining star in the world of Bengali intellectuals. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman fought for the same cause in the political arena and the late Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia. As long as there is a vibrant Bangladesh, the grateful nation will remember this great personality with deep gratitude and love.
Meanwhile, theJatiya Party has organized a visit to Azimpur cemetery at 9:30 am on Wednesday, Fateha recitation and wreath-laying and a discussion meeting at Zahur Hossain Chowdhury Hall at the National Press Club at 3:30 pm.
The meeting will be chaired by JP General Secretary and former Education Minister Sheikh Shahidul Islam. Information and Broadcasting Minister will be the chief guest. Hasan Mahmud MP. Distinguished guests will be Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon MP, eminent journalist Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul.
'Manik Mia Parishad' has also organized a discussion meeting at 10:30 am today at 18/1, Topkhana Road in the capital and 'Bangladesh Human Rights Journalists Association' at 11 am at the National Press Club.